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Earthworms

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Earthworms improve soil conditions through aeration by burrowing in pursuit of food. This constant aeration of the soil results in less evaporation and surface run-off, thereby providing for more efficient use of moisture introduced to the soil.

Each earthworm ingests its weight in organic matter every twenty four hours. Its intricate digestive tract makes it possible for the earthworms to excrete highly nutritious fertilizer known as castings. These castings are the most perfect plant food known to man, and contain: 5 times the available nitrogen, 7 times the available phosphorus, 3 times the exchangeable magnesium, 11 times the available potash, and 11/2 times more calcium than found in six inches of good topsoil. The increases are directly attributable to the organic matter eaten by earthworms. Castings are water soluble and immediately available to plant life. Castings do not heat and will not burn plants regardless of the quantity made available to the plant. The action of earthworms in compost piles will speed up the reduction of organic material to one half the time required by bacterial action alone.

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Gardening Tip of the Day

  • Trees can be safely planted in the fall until about 4 to 6 weeks before the ground freezes. When planting, make sure the hole is at least twice the size of the tree’s root ball. Loosen root ball and spread out roots before planting so roots are encouraged to grow outward. Stake younger trees to withstand winter winds using a loose fabric or piece of rubber hose to avoid injuring bark. Avoid using wire that can cut into the trunk as the tree grows. Add a few inches of mulch around root zone of the tree, but keep mulch at least three or four inches away from the base of the stem to prevent rot. Add some slow-release fertilizer in early spring.